Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Knitbot Trunkshow.

Yes, Maggie's gone, but the excitement continues!
trunk show samples (more designs on the table behind)
Hannah Fettig's trunk show arrived in the shop on Monday. She's the designer behind Knitbot and the Maine end of Coastal Knits. We've featured a few of her patterns in the shop for months now - great patterns like the Featherweight Cardigan, Contented Cardi and Wispy Cardi - and now that we have her trunk show, you can see the designs knit up and try them on!

I spent a bit of my time in the shop yesterday doing just that. Here are my hands down favorites - the ones I would cast on right away to knit for myself (if only my Christmas knitting were done!). All of these designs are knit seamlessly, and with the exception of the Sycamore Vest, they're top-down raglans, which means they're also easy to fit.

we're not sure about the bird applique!
 The Trail Jacket  features an A-line silhouette and 3/4 (how about changing these to bracelet?) length sleeves. Knit in a heavy worsted/aran yarn, we suggest Spud&Chloe Sweater, Rowan Felted Tweed Aran or Kathmandu. We would also add a button to the neckband.

the pattern offers two options for the placing the back cable detail - across the waist or across the shoulders
 The Contented Cardi features half-sleeves (which can be easily shortened or lengthened), the super-popular elongated and drape-y fronts, and a subtle cable across the back.  My favorite yarn for this pattern is AslanTrends Llama Mulberry Silk which has a lovely drape, but it would also work well in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Cascade 220 or the Madelinetosh DK or Merino DK.

The Lightweight Pullover  I wasn't prepared to love this one but I do! It reminds me of those very-favorite pullovers I had when I was in college...they were easy to wear, went with everything, and kept me just-a-bit warm. Perfect for our southern winters! The sample is knit in Classic Elite Fresco, one of those under-appreciated yarns. It's a sport-weight wool/alpaca/angora blend...easy to knit with, blooms beautifully and comes in every color. Or of you're wanting to splurge, how about the Fibre Company's Road to China Light. or Madelinetosh Pashmina.

The Sycamore Vest. This came across my radar when it was first released, but a few of the comments on Ravelry made me pause about knitting it. Here's the great thing about trying on a sample! I LOVE the way it fits, especially the way it hangs open, ever so casually....  It takes a sport-weight yarn with a bit of heft to give it drape. I was thinking Mirasol Nuna, but then today remembered the Louet Linen. I'm going to use the Linen.

And last, but certainly not least, the incredibly popular (for good reasons!) Featherweight Cardigan. The sample is knit in Canopy Fingering and it's lovely. simply lovely. If Canopy Fingering doesn't appeal, we have many other options from which to choose. Spud&Chloe Fine, Marian Foale 3-ply, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light... the list goes on.

The trunk show will be in the shop through December 31. We ordered all the patterns yesterday, so they should be in the shop shortly.  (And we have the Contented Cardi and Featherweight Cardigan and a few others already.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Maggie Excitement. Continued.

Maggie herself has come and gone and we had a blast while she was here (you can see photos of the all the fun on Facebook)...but we still have the trunkshow and a great selection of kits available in the shop.
the trunkshow - one (of three!) racks
La Alhambra - available as a kit
the London Scarf - multiple kit options
Sadly, the trunkshow and extra kits are headed back to Maggie on Monday. But that still leaves a few days to come into the shop and see what you missed.

I dare you to try to resist!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Ella Coat Knit-along.

Kathy posted on Facebook and Ravelry about doing a "big" knit-along in early 2012. By "big", we mean a coat!

Yes, we fell in love with The Ella Coat when we saw Nora Bellows modeling it so well back in November (she was in the shop for a weekend, teaching the Noni Bags workshop).

Now the pattern has arrived and we're gearing up to order yarn for all who are interested.

The pattern has options for a solid coat, a solid coat with contrasting ruffle (that's the option pictured) and a striped coat. Yarn requirements vary based on which option you choose. For the solid coat with contrasting ruffle (as pictured), the smallest size 32" takes 1,000 yards of the main color and 500 yarns for the ruffle; the largest size 54" takes 1,500 yards of the main color and 750 yards for the ruffle. Striped versions have 11 different colors (1 skein of each plus 500 yards for the ruffle).

The recommended yarn is Stonehedge Fiber Mill's Shepherd's Wool, a beautiful worsted wool with 250 yards per skein that comes in plenty of colors (check out the color cards here).

The pattern is very detailed (just like all the Noni Bag patterns, if you're familiar with them) and includes notes about modifications to ensure a beautiful fit. The coat body is constructed as one piece, the sleeves are knit separately and then sewn in. (and even given my bias toward seamless construction, I'm going to give this one a try!)

...the hardest part is going to be choosing the color(s)! I'm thinking about a brown body with an oatmeal ruffle. or maybe an oatmeal body with a brown ruffle. or maybe purple and green like the pattern shows. What colors would you choose?